A brief comment posted from someone that was present at the benefit party:
Last night a peaceful party to raise funds for arrested students was attacked by the police and ended in 11 arrests. Until the cops arrived, inside the venue was a mellow scene with some fun dancing and socializing, and a number of folks discussing upcoming March 4 actions.
Sometime around midnight police arrived in force, with no apparent provocation, and blocked the exits of the venue. Along with many others who had come to enjoy the social occasion, I tried to leave when the police showed up and was not allowed to. When I asked why we were not allowed to leave the police told us they were “investigating”. I told them it was illegal to detain us. In the meantime, undercover cops on the inside provoked people by grabbing the videos and cellphones of those who were taking pictures and throwing them against the wall. The police then escalated the situation by using excessive force to arrest one of the young men at the party, provoking many of us, appalled, to yell at them to stop.
What followed was a melee. I saw cops throwing kids down on the ground, sometimes three to a youngster, while the rest of us, in utter amazement, yelled at the police that this was unlawful and unnecessary. The cops, by now backed up by dozens of cop cars, lunged at the crowd of youngsters and picked out their prey. They eventually allowed the rest of us to leave. A crowd of 40 people then went to 850 Bryant Street, where the arrestees had been taken. Despite police threats to “arrest all of the kids who were in the lobby if they didn’t disperse”, the group stayed until dawn, when most of the arrestees were released. There are some heavy charges against one arrestee whose court hearing is set for Thursday in San Francisco.
The police action was outrageous and unprovoked and needs to be investigated.
We need help from lawyers or others experienced with the law to make this happen.